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Matthew Pollock
Mr. Bradley
U.S. Gov
October 17, 2016
Research Paper
Our Earth. It is undeniably the most important in every humans life, as it is our home. Its
where humans evolved and grew into the technologically advanced society we are today. We
have gone through many different periods of growth and expansion, especially industrially. We
have made incredible creations, we have mastered flight, with the ability to put humans onto
other planets, to sail across the seas in ships of unimaginable size, and can travel anywhere in the
United States by automobile. Cars are the most used form of transportation in the United States.
One out of every two people in the U.S. own a car. Over the last 20 years we have seen record
breaking increases in the number of cars purchased. From 1960 to 2006 it is estimated that the
number of cars in the United States has risen by 3.96 million each year. In total, there are
254,639,386 vehicles registered with the Bureau of transportation. That is an incredibly large
number of vehicles on the road. As the growth of automobiles has skyrocketed, so has the
demand for the resources needed to run them, and the chemicals produced as a byproduct to
gather the resources for cars, and from the cars themselves. Cars are one of main causes for one
of the deadliest changes our earth is undergoing, climate change.
Cars are definitely one of mans greatest inventions, it makes travelling convenient and
simple, however we are now starting to feel the effects of the mass use of gasoline cars and their
emissions. Over the last 150 years, the increase in the use of cars has resulted in an increase of

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the amount of greenhouse gases being exhausted into the atmosphere (Air Pollution and
Climate Change). Cars emit carbon dioxide while the engine is running. Carbon Dioxide is a
greenhouse gas, which means it traps heat inside the earths atmosphere, gradually increasing
our earths temperature. Carbon monoxide is another emission from vehicles that can affect
human health and create smog. The combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel to
transport people and goods is the second largest source of CO2 emissions, accounting for about
31 percent of total U.S. emissions (Overview of Greenhouse Gases). The effects of releasing
such massive amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere are slowly becoming more and
more evident, as we see the health effects it has had in cities where the public cannot leave there
home because of the horrid air conditions. In China, the air pollution is at such a dangerously
high level that it is estimated that four thousand people die every day due to the conditions, and
around 80% of Chinas population are exposed to air pollution every day. However, humans
arent the only ones who feel the effect of climate change. Animals are effected much more
drastically, as even the smallest changes to their ecosystem could kill off an entire species of
animals.
Our oceans ecosystem is an incredibly delicate system; the slightest changes can have a
huge effect on the sea life. Even on land the ecosystems are incredibly fragile and only change
naturally. A sea level rise of only 50cm could cause sea turtles to lose their nesting beaches over 30% of Caribbean beaches are used by turtles during the nesting season and would be
affected. (Climate Change - effects on animals, birdlife and plants). This truly shows how
delicate our animals ecosystem is. Although no animal has yet been declared extinct, it is
expected that soon we will see many species go extinct because of climate change. Many other
species that rely on beaches for their needs can be dramatically affected by the smallest rises,

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such as the already endangered Mediterranean Monk Seals, and this could affect dolphins and
whales who need to come into shallow waters to raise their calves. A loss of biodiversity has
been, or is projected to occur because of climatic factors (The Effects of Climate Change on
Animal Species). This means that based on the rate of climate change, it is predicted that species
will start migrating at different rates, more unlikely to shift together resulting in invasive species
moving in. If we see mass extinction among species, we will see a lack of biodiversity amongst
animals as there will be a smaller gene pool of traits. However, we are seeing the extinction of
one animal, whose habitat is also being destroyed by climate change, that is having drastic
effects on the environment.
The arctic ocean is possibly seeing one of the most dramatic changes because of climate
change. The polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate of 17.2% a decade. While this may
sound minimal, the effects of this have huge impacts on not just animals, but humans as well.
over the last century the ocean has risen by around four to eight inches. Again, it may sound
minimal but its impacts are not. As seawater reaches farther inland, it can cause destructive
erosion, flooding of wetlands, contamination of aquifers and agricultural soils, and lost habitat
for fish, birds, and plants. (Sea Level Rise). Also because of the higher sea level, we will also
expierence much more powerful and destructive storms. Not to mention how much the risk of
flooding for coastal cities will increase. Not even to mention the direct effect this had on species
whose habitats are the polar ice caps. Polar bears have evolved for a life on the sea ice, which
they rely on for reaching their seal prey. But the arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing due to a
warming earth, affecting the entire arctic ecosystem, from copepods to seals to walruses.
(Climate Change). These animals, and especially polar bears, are losing their habitat from right
below them, and along with it they are losing their access to food, and places to den. It is also

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much harder for them to raise their cubs and they have a much lower survival rate. We have also
seen an increase in cannibalism and drowning amongst polar bears. Although this is just one
example of an animal being affected, ecosystems are very fragile, and this reduction in polar
bears could lead to other various problems amongst other animals in the same ecosystem.
However, there are measure being taken and historical meetings being conducted
regarding climate change, and governments around the world are taking to reduce the rate of
climate change and prevent a lot of the catastrophes it could lead too. Many of the world's major
greenhouse gas emitters have already set national targets to reduce emissions, and they're forging
their own initiatives to meet those goals. (What Countries Are Doing to Tackle Climate
Change). This is a great start to reducing the rate of climate change, as they are tackling the main
issue of greenhouse gas emissions. This is essentially the root cause to global warming and if
these countries can follow through with their goals, we will have a much greener future. The
United States itself have taken key steps to reducing our emissions, as we are one of the biggest
emitters. The Obama administration has made real progress in developing a wide range of
initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through clean energy policies. (Cutting Carbon
Pollution in America). Some key steps the Obama administration has put into effect are by
increasing our energy production through wind power, and doing the same with solar production.
Another initiative taken is cutting soot-leading pollution by twenty-five percent in 2030. This
will prove to be effective as wind power holds very promising efficiency.
There is a huge push for renewable energy, which would emit no greenhouse gases. We
would be using our earths natural energy to power homes and businesses across the country.
Which have shown to be very effective. Wind generation avoided 95.6 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide in 2013, which is equivalent to taking 16.9 million cars off the road. (Wind

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Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions by 4.4 Percent: Report). This shows the
efficiency of wind turbines and hoe big of a factor they can play in reducing our greenhouse gas
emissions and shows that alternative energy is a viable option for the U.S. Wind energy is one of
the best alternatives as wind turbine only need a source of wind to produce energy, and the
United States is plentiful with windy environments to place them in. In addition to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions, wind energy also greatly reduces a variety of health-harming air
pollutants, including smog-forming sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, dangerous particulate
matter, mercury, and other toxins. (Wind Energy Secures Significant CO2 Emission Reductions
for the U.S.). Yet another great advantage to using a clean energy source such as wind power,
there are almost zero emissions in converting the wind energy into usable energy in our homes.
As stated earlier, greenhouse gas emissions not only pose a threat to our environment, but are
personal health too. So not only does wind power keep emissions out of our atmosphere, but also
keep them out of our environment and lungs.
Although there are skyscraper high amounts of evidence showing that climate change is
real, there are still those who think it is not. One argument is that Instruments show there has
been some warming of the Earth's surface since 1979, but the actual value is subject to large
errors. (The arguments made by climate change sceptics). This is untrue, as precise
measurements show the increase in ocean level, the melting of our polar caps, and satellite
imagery visually shows this melting process. Since 1998 - more than a decade - the record, as
determined by observations from satellites and balloon radiosondes, shows no discernible
warming. (The arguments made by climate change sceptics). This is an example of cherry
picking a specific year to use it in your arguments favor. For example, 1998 was extremely warm

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because of El Nio, and 2008 was incredibly cold because of La Nina. Variability from year to
year is considered. Counter evidence is that the ten hottest years have all been since 1997.

Work Cited

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"Air Pollution and Climate Change." - Windows to the Universe. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct.
2016.
"Overview of Greenhouse Gases." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 26
Oct. 2016.
2009, President Obama March 19. "Climate Change Effect on Animals." Climate Change
Effect on Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
Ali Penman | Web Smart Media. "CLIMATE & WEATHER." Climate Change. N.p., n.d.
Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
Society, National Geographic. "Sea Level Rise -- National Geographic." National
Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
"Climate Change." Polar Bears International. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
"What Countries Are Doing To Tackle Climate Change." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 26 Oct.
2016.
"Climate Change." The White House. The White House, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
Sheppard, Kate. "Wind Power Has Cut U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 4.4 Percent:
Report." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.
"Wind Energy Secures Significant CO2 Emission Reductions for the U.S." Wind Energy
Secures Significant CO2 Emission Reductions for the U.S. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2016.
"The Arguments Made by Climate Change Sceptics." BBC News. BBC, 13 Dec. 2009.
Web. 26 Oct. 2016.

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